The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Mar 1891

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p.1 Lake Seamen's Association - The Lake Seamen's Association has decided to affiliate with the International union. This is in the direction of centralization of all the seamen's unions in the world. The lake association includes 136 local bodies in the United States and Canada. Headquarers are located in Chicago. The president of each union is a paid officer, whose duty it is to look after the interests of all sailors who enter the port in which he resides. At the next convention proposed changes in the maritime laws of the United States and Canada will come up. Amendments to the laws providing for properly qualified seamen and regulations regarding the load line will also be considered.


"What is the outlook for lake business the coming season?" inquired a Commercial reporter of a Chicago vessel owner at the Iroquois last evening.

"The prospects for next season's lake trade at present are discouraging, to say the least. An early opening of navigation on account of mild weather is certain. This of itself is enough to cause a weakness in the opening of freight rates. Vessel owners dread a long, draggy season more than low rates on account of the expense of keeping vessels in commission. The amount of freight to be carried is always limited and with a short and necessarily brisk season better results in all branches of lake and rail traffic are obtained."

"Do you think shipbuilding has been overdone?"

"The tonnage of the lakes has enormously increased during the past two years, in fact to such proportion has it grown that our retired vessel owners shake their heads when the matter is alluded to, and the younger men now in the business are inclined to give the question a moment's serious consideration. I see the supervising inspector general, James A. Dumont, in his last report shows the steam tonnage of the lakes to be greater than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The commissioner of navigation makes the number of vessels of 1,000 to 2,500 tons owned on the lakes exceed the total of vessels of that class in all other parts of the country. More steam vessels, according to this official, were built on the lakes than the combined product of the rest of the country.

"Whether ship building on the great lakes has been over done or not this year will tell, but there is no doubt a check has been placed on further productions as the shipyards have little or no new work to take the place of ships to be off the stocks by July 1st. Several big schemes to construct large steel boats have been abandoned and even the package freight companies have given up the idea of replacing the wooden propellers with better class steamers."

Incidents of the Day - The new boilers for the R. & O. N. company's steamer Corsican are expected to arrive early next week when they will be placed in position at once. In order to do this it will be necessary to remove a large bulkhead.

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6 Mar 1891
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Mar 1891